Sunday, October 16, 2011

How did I quit smoking

On the next 4th of December it will be my third anniversary since I quit smoking. I, like lots of other ex-smokers, remember this date as it were carved in stone, a monument to my determination, a milestone after years of attempts in the right direction.

I started smoking at the age of fifteen. I remember I used to smoke any brand I would find, out of curiosity and to make myself an expert on tobacco's blendings. I have never been a great smoker, let's say an average of fifteen cigarettes per day. Besides, I was not the only smoker of the gang, all my friends were smokers too so lighting up a cigarette was the most common way to consecrate our meetings.

The first time I tried to leave cigarettes behind, it was at the age of twenty three, and I remember that it took not even three months to go back to old habits.
I finally succeeded in quitting smoking, that was at least after ten attempts along the years. I had to follow some rules to prepare myself for the big moment and repeat some actions to make the stress of abstinence bearable. Then I would like to share with you some ideas that helped me a lot.

  1. Smoke hand-made cigarettes before quitting
    It helped me reduce a lot the number of cigarettes I smoked each day, and I felt my addiction was getting weaker day by day. Lighting up a cigarette is not that easy: rolling one takes time, therefore it is somehow discouraging.
  2. Get ready for the last one cigarette ceremony
    Smoke the last one knowing it will be the last one forever. Of course it must be the last one in the box; then make sure there are no more cigarettes at home. Watching the empty box after smoking the last one will give you a sensation of being free from the vice. If it's nighttime, and you're decided to quit smoking but you still have five or six cigarettes left in the box, take your time and smoke until you empty the box. Doesn't matter if it's late. It will be lovely to get up to a new world, to a new life. Besides, smoking so much will give you an unpleasant feeling, and this will enhance the concept of how much evil is hidden in tobacco.
  3. Start some physical activity
    I quit smoking at the same time I started practising Yoga. Doing some sport helps release the load of stress and tension due to lack of nicotine. Go jogging, to the gym or swimming pool; do something. You must feel that sports and cigarettes cannot coexist.
  4. Drink a lot of water
    Drinking water helps purify your organism from any residual of nicotine.
  5. Light incense sticks in your house.
    The very first days, going back home from work was a real pain. I needed to sit down on my sofa and smoke anything. I started lighting incense sticks at home, they are not addictive and help relax your mind, really. A couple of months will be enough; choose a light flavour.
  6. Consider they are controlling you
    Big tobacco manufacturers receive huge benefits by controlling your independence and making you a slave of the system. And I'm sure you really don't deserve that.
  7. Tell your partner or your friends not to smoke at home.
    Of course, living with a smoker is absolutely incompatible with this particular change in lifestyle. My partner never smoked, then it was easy for me. I'm sure they will be delighted to help you quit smoking so as to go smoke tobacco in the balcony or into the bathroom. Otherwise, maybe it's time to update partner or friends. 
  8. Avoid alcohol, drink coffee
    Yes, and eat chocolate, drink tea and do things that make you happy, at least during a period. The first two weeks without tobacco you probably won't sleep and feel hyperactive the whole day. But after approximately two weeks you will experiment a nostalgic sense of boredom, you will feel empty, meaningless. This is the most dangerous moment. Take care! The emotion of the challenge is over and in order to maintain it alive, drink coffee. I used to sip American coffee the whole day. This kept me awake and willing to do things.
Nowadays I still continue with maintenance routines. Hopefully I quit smoking forever, although every once in while I smoke a Cuban cigar. Much better than cigarettes, at least you don't need to breath smoke in.

I hope these tips help you; if they're not enough, then maybe you need to concentrate some time on the picture in this post!

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